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EngelNewSans is not only an upgrade of Gestalten’s best-selling typeface, Engel, in fact it is a complete new fontface.The project started out with designer Sofie Beier wanting to extend the Engel character set and freshen up the typeface for the OpenType format. In the process of revisiting the original Engel, Beier got carried away and made improvements to the individual letters and the overall look. The outcome is EngelNewSans.
Sofie Beier is a designer/researcher/ lecturer and is currently employed at the Danish Design School, where she teaches graphic and type design on BA and MA levels. She was recently awarded a PhD from the Royal College of Art in London. The focus of her thesis was the influence familiarity has on different kinds of typefaces. Beier’s current research project deals with typeface legibility on a more general level. The project compares ideas and findings on legibility related matters put forward by both designers and scientists.
More fonts by Sofie Beier
To me the characteristics of Engel and EngelNewSans could, per… read more
To me the characteristics of Engel and EngelNewSans could, perhaps very fittingly, be compared to a person showing different sides of his or her personality at different stages in life. While Engel has the traits of a cool teenager with rough edges not yet fully developed, EngelNewSans takes the form of a more mature confident character, with softer, rounder, and more harmonious shapes.
What is the ideal usage of your font?
The original Engel typeface was designed for a wide usage in running text and headlines. I wanted to support this idea and extend the options even further by developing a serif version and new extreme weights. My intention is to motivate an element of play and give the designer a larger selection from which to choose.
How did you come up with the name of the font?
I have been back and forth on how to communicate the upgrade in the name. At first I thought of naming the new fonts Engel2.0, but decided it was too impersonal. The name EngelNew seems like a logical choice. Of course, the obvious problem is that eventually the fonts will no longer be new, and if I ever decide to make an additional upgrade I have now given myself the challenge to come up with a name that sounds even newer than “New.” Nonetheless I like the straight-forwardness of the word now, and have decided to worry about the consequences later.
Which is the bigger challenge: working on your own personal project or for a client with a strict briefing?
I am not big on working for clients.
What are your ideal conditions for you to work in?
Listening to radio podcasts of documentaries and science programs, while regularly being interrupted by the outside world.
How would you describe the state your handwriting is in?
My handwriting is rather illegible to everyone but me. I have developed this style to obstruct other people from recognizing my spelling mistakes.
Where does the font end, where does the image begin? Is there a line to draw?
If you interpret “font” as the functional matter of communication, and “image” as the novel experimental matter, I believe no line should be drawn between the two. That being said, I would argue that one should always be aware of the influence extreme changes to the established letter shapes has on the reader. I found in my own research that after a short practice of reading an unfamiliar typeface, readers demonstrate a significant improvement in reading speed, however, their view on the reading experience does not equally improve, stating that they still find unfamiliar typefaces more distracting than familiar typefaces after practicing reading them.
Your future plans/projects?
I have many typefaces waiting to be created, and a long list of ideas for future investigations into solving some of the many unanswered legibility related questions.